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The road to true humanity (with a short detour)
Transcript of The road to true humanity (with a short detour)
(this is true humanity)
*Read Genesis 1:26-31*
*What does 'The image of God' mean to you?
What are some of the elements of the image of God?* *Read Deuteronomy 30.
The road to true humanity is the road of life.
All sin is basically idolatry (a breaking of the first commandment). All idolatry is dehumanising. Read Psalm 115.
Sin degrades the image of God in people, makes them worth less, both for the perpetrator and the victim.
In what ways does Psalm 115 say that idolatry dehumanises people? What are the ' idols' of our culture?* A short detour via hell: (this sign has sharp edges)
Not the way we normally think of it with medieval imagery! Hell does not equal Dante’s vision: hell is the rubbish dump of the world. Gehenna as the defiled valley of idolatry, now the city dump of Jerusalem in Jesus’ time. Gehenna is where idolatry ends up. Jesus is not rubbing his hands with glee; he is weeping with the pain of unrequited love, seeing those he loves so dearly going down a road which will end up with their lives on the rubbish dump – debased, dehumanised, degraded. Matthew 5 gives Jesus’ signposts on the road to true humanity (between ‘Blessed are… and ‘You may be children of my Father in heaven’ Warning sign: the sin –
Danger: dehumanising ahead–
Direction arrow: the ethic –
Blessing: Fully human 1. Anger/contempt (Matthew 5:21-26 idolatry:we set ourselves up as judges of our fellow human beings Dehumanises: I see you as an object of contempt. I judge you, put myself in the place of God, and decide what your fate should be.
*How do you see the sin of contemptuous anger play out in our society?
What about in your life? Respect and reconciliation (v23) (with a short detour via hell) *Jesus says that the ethic of reconciliation takes precedence even over worship. Why do you think this is so important? Who takes the initiative?
Tell about a moment of reconciliation you have experienced. What blessing came with it?
For personal reflection: is there someone against whom you harbour anger? Or someone who you know has something agains you? What is God calling you do do about this?*
Blessing: blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy
I see you for who you really are, and give you your true worth 2. Lust (5:27-30) *' Lust' might be defined as 'Looking at someone only for what you can get out of them.' How does this definition move beyond just the sexual aspect of lust? What factors in our society make lust a particularly difficult problem for us? How does lust affect women as well as men? Is there a difference?*-idolatry: my one track mind cannot be oriented towards God, in fact is oriented in the opposite direction: stuff you, God!
Dehumanises: -you are an object of desire, not a human being – all I see is boobs, bum, and bits.
Dehumanises me: caught up in my own desires
I can’t see, or even look to, God, when my mind is full of boobs and bums -purity (v 29-30) *How might we as Christians encourage each other in living out the purity ethic?
How does seeing someone else as a human being, created in the image of God, help to set us free from lust as defined above?*
- Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God
What blessings do you see for yourself in living out Jesus' purity ethic? 3. Divorce (Matt 5:31-32) *What are some of the reasons divorce has proliferated within our culture?*
Idolatry: -I put myself in God’s place, deciding that his good intention for marriage is not possible, and that he is wrong
Dehumanising: I try to separate what God has joined together. You become a problem, an enemy, not a person in the image of God – divorce breaks both the respect ethic and the purity ethic Fidelity-honouring marriage (v31-31) *Read Genesis 2:18-25. What is God's intention for marriage?
How could the church help people who are married to uphold the ethic of fidelity? How could our community uphold and support marriage? How does Jesus' ethic of fidelity speak to single people?*
*Read Ephesians 5:25-33 and Revelation 21:1-4. How does the Bible portray marriage? What insight does this give you into the nature of the relationship between God and his people?*
Blessing -‘and the two shall become one flesh...and he blessed them and said "be fruitful" (God gives his blessing to his plan for marriage in many places in the Bible, including the imagery of heaven as a wedding feast and the church as the bride of Christ (see Ephesians 5:25-33) 4. Dishonesty/Oaths (Matt 5:33-37) *How do you respond when you hear someone taking God's name in vain?
What situations cause you to be tempted to break your word?*
Idolatry:- I take God’s name in vain by my words and my character
Dehumanising: you cannot trust my words when I speak normally. Integrity (radical honesty) (5:37) *If you wrote a 'beatitude' - a blessing - based on Jesus' ethic of integrity and radical honesty, what would it be? (See Matthew 5:1-5 for some idea starters.)
How is integrity and honesty liberating for you? With whom are you able to be completely honest?*
-blessed are the honest, for they do not need good memories (be who you say you are) *We often see Jesus' warning signs and continue down our detour towards hell anyway. Jesus, though, comes to the rubbish dump of life, into our world, to rescue, redeem, forgive, reconcile, and above all, rehumanise us. Read John 3:16 once again. Finish your study with prayer for one another that we may continue to walk the path to true humanity, the path to life.*
Jesus shows the road to true humanity: Jesus, the one in the Image of God, who restores that image in us You can use this prezi as a bible study. Begin with prayer and flow through the prezi. Feel free to stop and discuss elements in your group. Bible study elements have been added, highlighted and marked with an *asterisk*. *what images do you associate with ' hell?*